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Random Japan

Random Japan

CHEEKY DEVILS
Customs officials at Kansai Airport busted a Nigerian man attempting to enter the country with 86 bags of an unspecified drug in his stomach. The would-be smuggler said “he picked up the drugs in Paris and spent four to five hours swallowing the small bags, washing them down with water.”
After being arrested for throwing his wife’s corpse in Tokyo’s Oyoko River, a 61-year-old man reportedly told police, “there is no doubt I dumped her in the river. I’ll discuss the details later.”
A Tokyo-based software company has released an app called Karelog that allows PC users to monitor “the current whereabouts, phone call logs, remaining battery power and other personal data of a smartphone’s owner.”
A Tokyo woman was arrested forcounterfeiting ¥10,000 bills the old-fashioned way—with a color photocopier.

stats
23,000

Random Japan

YEAH, THANKS FOR THAT…
At a ceremony in Boston, the president of the Japan-America Society of New Hampshire was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette. The honor was in recognition of the man’s efforts to promote “friendly Japan-US relations by raising awareness of the 1905 Treaty of Portsmouth,” whatever that is.

Reassuring absolutely no one, newly installed Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa labeled himself an “amateur” when it comes to national security issues.

Meanwhile, the new justice minister “expressed reluctance” about enforcing the death penalty.

An advisory council reporting to the culture minister recommended that Japan nominate Mt Fuji and the city of Kamakura as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

One year after the Akatsuki planetary probe failed in its attempt to enter the orbit of Venus, JAXA says the spacecraft may be capable of making another try in 2015.

Random Japan

AND THE WINNER IS…
A Japanese director named Takahisa Zeze won an Innovation Award at the Montreal World Film Festival and captivated the crowd when he started his acceptance speech with the words, “I am Japanese. Are you doing good?”

Another attending Japanese filmmaker in Montreal, Masato Harada, was doing pretty well as his movie Chronicle of My Mother took the Special Grand Prix.

In the wake of entertainer Shinsuke Shimada’s abrupt retirement from his TV career over ties to the yakuza, one top police official noted in The Yomiuri Shimbun, “It seems many showbiz types’ first interaction with crime groups comes when they ask the gangs to solve problems for them, such as collecting unpaid appearance fees or breaking off relationships with members of the opposite sex.”

Former Japan soccer coach Zico has a new gig after the Brazilian legend was named coach of Iraq’s national team.

Meanwhile, the unfortunately named Dunga, another former Brazilian soccer star who, like Zico, once played in the J. League, was also reported to be getting a new job.
Dunga was set to take the helm of a club team in Qatar.

Random Japan

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BAD MEDICINE
An investigation was launched after it came to light that a man who claimed to be a doctor from a Canadian hospital treated some 250 people in quake-ravaged Miyagi Prefecture without a proper license.

A drug used to treat blood clots killed five people in Japan after causing some nasty side-effects in over 80 patients since March, the Health Ministry said.

Ryohei Yamanaka, 23, a flyhalf for Japan’s national rugby team, accepted a two-year doping ban from the sport’s governing body while continuing to claim his positive test was a result of a cream he used to try to grow a mustache. Yeah right, likely story …

It took 21 reprints, but a million copies were finally printed of an inspirational book by Japan soccer captain Makoto Hasebe called Kokoro o Totonoeru (Maintaining Peace of Mind).

Now this really is amazing. A transparent maze has been set up by Yoko Ono at Yokohama Triennale 2011, an international exhibition of modern art. At the center of the maze is a telephone, which sometimes rings. Lucky visitors who pick up the phone get to hear the voice of Yoko Ono. Hmmm … would that be considered reward or punishment?

A two-year-old boy escaped with a few minor scrapes after falling between a train platform and a stopped Nozomi bullet train onto the tracks at Nagoya Station. A quick-thinker hit the emergency switch and cut power before the train could leave.

Visually impaired people in Japan are apparently “suffering damage to their white canes … due to collisions with cyclists.”

Random Japan

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ON THE ROAD

A homeless man who racked up a ¥180,000 taxi fare from Tokyo to Osaka was arrested after revealing that he only had ¥6,000 to his name.

The National Police Agency sent a team of six judo instructors to teach martial arts to Afghan police officers at a training center in Turkey.

A 24-year-old Tochigi man was arrested for stealing 18 pairs of underwear from the home of a female high school student.

It was reported that mosquito nets made by Sumitomo Chemical Co. are partly responsible for the recent drastic decline in malaria deaths worldwide.

Stats

¥1 million
Bonus payment that beverage giant Kirin will award to all 21 members of Japan’s world championship women’s soccer team

100,000
Households that were unprepared for the switch from analog to digital TV broadcasting on July 24, according to newspaper reports

47/33
Percent of Japanese men and women in their early 30s, respectively, who are single, according to The Daily Yomiuri

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DIAMOND DUST
Sho Darvish, the younger brother of Nippon Ham Fighters ace Yu Darvish, was arrested twice in June—once for marijuana possession and again for assaulting a 19-year-old woman. So much for weed mellowing you out…
Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki saw his string of ten straight MLB All-Star Game appearances come to an end when he finished seventh in fan voting among American League outfielders. He still picked up over 2.5 million votes.
A renegade cat delayed a BayStars vs. Hiroshima Carp ballgame at Yokohama Stadium when it got on the field and had to be chased off by security.
Golfer Tiger Woods may have philandered away millions in endorsement contacts in the U.S. but he’s still big in Japan. Woods is the new face of Kowa, a Japanese muscle balm.
The heat is on once again and the Japan Football Association has decided to allow sports drinks, as well as your standard water, on the sidelines at soccer games to prevent heatstroke. Some stadiums, however, have a water-only policy in effect, worried that a little Pocari Sweat might kill the grass.
A 17-year-old boy scout with Japanese roots from Utah delivered soccer balls, uniforms and whistles to students affected by the March 11 earthquake/tsunami. Perhaps more suited to Sudan than Japan, but a good deed nonetheless.

Random Japan

[ a bump to the front with a 'welcome back, Mishima'. Hope you're safe and it's all good where you are! - luaptifer]

GOTTA BOUNCE
After winning 10 straight national trampoline championships, 27-year-old Haruka Hirota decided to retire from the sport due to a rule change regarding how much time the athletes spend in the air.

Former Livedoor boss Takafumi Horie decided to go out in style, sporting a Mohawk haircut and wearing a T-shirt bearing the phrase “Go To Jail” as he began his prison sentence for fraud.

Forty-year-old tennis queen Kimiko Date Krumm gave Venus Williams a run for her money at Wimbledon, before finally bowing out 6-7 (6), 6-3, 8-6 in nearly three hours in the second round.
In Sapporo, four “Super Grandmas” aged between 75 and 88 set a world record in the 400-meter medley for swimmers with a combined age between 320 and 359 years. Their combined age was 322 years and they shaved a full 40 seconds off the record.

Doara, the popular mascot of the Chunichi Dragons baseball club, was sent down to the minor leagues to work on his flips after a few mishaps.

Yoshie Soma, a 69-year-old special adviser to the president of Kobe University, was named one of the “most distinguished women in chemistry and chemical engineering in the world” by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. She discovered a copper carbonyl catalyst in the 1960s that has been used in paint for cars and the bottom of ships.

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OFFICIAL OVERSIGHT

A woman in Fukuoka sued Google after she discovered that the company’s Street View service showed a photo of her underwear hanging on the veranda.

LDP lawmaker Hiroshi Nagai found himself in hot water after ordering Prince Akishino and his wife to sit down during a ceremony marking the 120th anniversary of the opening of the Diet.

Random Japan

ALL NIPPON SCAREWAYS
It was revealed that an ANA flight was about 30 seconds from crashing into a Hokkaido mountain before a warning went off, spurring pilots into quick action to avoid catastrophe. An air-traffic controller was blamed for the near mishap.

Random Japan

THE MEDICAL FILES
It was reported that NTT Communications and a consortium of other companies are developing a system in which users can get calorie counts of the food they’re about to eat by taking a picture of the dish with their keitai.

Random Japan

Bumped and promoted. Originally published 2010-12-04 08:09:35 -0500. -- GH

KARMA-RIFIC
A senior citizen trying to steal coins from a donation box at a shrine in Tokushima fell and hit his head while attempting to flee the scene. He later claimed his six stitches were “punishment from God.”

A 35-year-old Japanese man was caught at the airport in Bali with 6kg of hash. Apparently, he recently served time in an Indian prison for a similar offense, and now faces the death penalty under Indonesian law.

The 19-year-old son of an American soldier stationed in Japan was found guilty of seriously injuring a 24-year-old Tokyo woman by stringing a rope across a roadway in 2009, causing her to fall off her scooter “just for laughs.” Three other American kids involved got off without charge.

Three Tokyo teens, meanwhile, were arrested for breaking into a couple of cars using a method they had learned on YouTube.

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Random Japan

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2010-11-27 09:20:02 -0500. -- GH

FROM THE INTERNATIONAL DESK
A kids’ book written by a 34-year-old Tokyo housewife about the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Miyazaki Prefecture has become an internet hit, being downloaded approximately 2,600 times since late September. Sounds positively uplifting.

Kenya’s Daily Nation reported that a former ambassador to Japan was questioned by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) over dubious dealings regarding the purchase of land in Tokyo. Not a terribly interesting story, but we just had to get that acronym in there.

Virgin Atlantic Airways and Mori Building City Air Services have started free helicopter shuttles from Ark Hills in Akasaka to Narita Airport for high-end travelers from Tokyo to London.

A few weeks after getting busted in Chiba with cocaine in his pocket, Aussie pro golfer Wayne Perske was banned for the rest of the season by the Japan Golf Tour Organization.

Perske’s problems came on the heels of Kiwi golf pro David Smail’s sex scandal, when his former Japanese girlfriend sent compromising photos and videos to the media after the married Smail tried to break up with her. Man, talk about putting it in the wrong hole!

A female desk clerk at a hotel in Aichi held a press conference to draw light to her situation after a male guest called her to his room to “apologize” over some issue with an escort service. The horny old dude then tried to jump her, “unbuttoning her clothing and touching her lower body.”

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Random Japan

Originally posted 2010-11-20 09:18:09 - standingup

SAY WHAT?
Officials in Toyama are taking multitasking to a whole new level with a project that trains hairdressers to spot emotionally disturbed customers who might be contemplating suicide.

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